An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
From the ancient and beautiful Italian island of Sicily emerged a variety of distinguished names, including the notable surname Calabretta. Although people were originally known only by a single name, it became necessary for people to adopt a second name to identify themselves as populations grew and travel became more frequent. The process of adopting fixed hereditary surnames was not complete until the modern era, but the use of hereditary family names in Italy began in the 10th and 11th centuries. Italian hereditary surnames were developed according to fairly general principles and they were characterized by a profusion of derivatives coined from given names. Although the most traditional type of family name found in the region of Sicily is the patronymic surname, which is derived from the father's given name, local surnames are also found. Local names, which are the least frequent of the major types of surnames found in Italy, are derived from a place-name where the original bearer once resided or held land. Often Italian local surnames bore the prefix "di," which signifies emigration from one place to another, and does not necessarily denote nobility. The Calabretta family lived in Viterbo.
Italian surnames come in far more variations than the names of most other nationalities. Regional traditions and dialects are a decisive factor in this characteristic. For example, northern names tend to end in "o", while southern in "i". Also important, but not unique to Italy, was the fact that before dictionaries and the printing press most scribes simply spelled words according to their sounds. The predictable result was an enormous number of spelling variations. The recorded spellings of Calabretta include Calabria, Calabrèse, Calabrese, Calabrèsi, Calabresi, Càlabri, Calabri, Calabra, Calabrètta, Calabretta, Calabr and many more.
First found in the southern region of Sicily.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Calabretta research. More information is included under the topic Early Calabretta History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 85 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Calabretta Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Calabretta arrived in North America very early: John Calabra, who arrived in South Carolina in 1823 at the age of 30, Angelo Calabrese, who arrived in New York city in 1893, and Nilola Calabrese, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1890..
The Calabretta Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Calabretta Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.
This page was last modified on 12 September 2011 at 14:22.